[6]-Shogaol inhibits melanogenesis in B16 mouse melanoma cells through activation of the ERK pathway

Cheng Yao, Jang Hee Oh, Inn Gyung Oh, Chi Hyun Park, Jin Ho Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Aim:To investigate the effect of [6]-shogaol, an active ingredient in ginger, on melanogenesis and the underlying mechanisms. Methods:B16F10 mouse melanoma cells were tested. Cell viability was determined with the MTT assay. Melanin content and tyrosinase activity were analyzed with a spectrophotometer. The protein expression of tyrosinase and microphthalmia associated transcription factor (MITF), as well as phosphorylated or total ERK1/2 and Akt were measured using Western blot. Results:Treatment of the cells with [6]-shogaol (1, 5, 10 μmol/L) reduced the melanin content in a concentration-dependent manner. [6]-Shogaol (5 and 10 μmol/L) significantly decreased the intracellular tyrosinase activity, and markedly suppressed the expression levels of tyrosinase and MITF proteins in the cells. Furthermore, [6]-shogaol (10 μmol/L) activated ERK, which was known to negatively regulate melanin synthesis in these cells. Pretreatment with the specific ERK pathway inhibitor PD98059 (20 μmol/L) greatly attenuated the inhibition of melanin synthesis by [6]-shogaol (10 μmol/L). Conclusion:The results demonstrate that [6]-shogaol inhibits melanogenesis in B16F10 mouse melanoma cells via activating the ERK pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalActa Pharmacologica Sinica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • B16F10 mouse melanoma cell
  • ERK
  • MITF
  • [6]-shogaol
  • melanin
  • skin pigmentation
  • tyrosinase

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